It’s about time — the world is finally starting to appreciate the beauty and grace of black women, and more than ever, they are not able to get the spotlight. Over the years, we have seen many iconic black women show their poise and grace whether it is in film, music, or even on the political stage.
These moments, as with all things worth remembering, are best captured through portraits. Here are some of the most iconic portraits of beautiful and powerful black women.
Jodie Turner-Smith Portrait For Anne Boleyn
Jodie Turner-Smith was the first ever black woman to play the role of Anne Boleyn. The portrait of her wearing black Tudor garb for the three part series simply called Anne Boleyn shows that not only was she a good choice for the role, but that Hollywood has a new queen that is waiting to become a huge star.
Beyonce Tyler Mitchell Portrait
It would be a sin to talk about portraits of power and beautiful black women without mentioning Queen B herself. Her portrait shot by photographer Tyler Mitchell was added to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. Talk about making an impact!
In this particular portrait, Beyonce is wearing a beautiful looking piece of headgear that seems to resemble the sun. The gold lighting of the portrait, on the other hand, looks absolutely stunning in contrast to her skin.
Aretha Franklin Early Years Portrait
When you go online and search for the greatest singer who has ever lived, you will probably see portraits of Aretha Franklin being featured prominently at the top of that list. There have been several iconic black women in the arts, but none have commanded as much respect as Aretha.
In one particular black and white portrait, the African-American singer was shown singing her iconic song “Respect” in front of an adoring audience. The portrait, being in black and white, only added to the timeless feel of the portrait. Not only that, but the emotion that she shows on her face as she is singing is truly something to behold.
The Power of Serena Williams
Not only are women of color great actresses and singers, but a lot of them shine in the world of sports as well. In an article published by Forbes, a stunning headshot of the tennis star is shown with the tagline “The Power of Serena Williams.”
And what power it is indeed, there are very few athletes that have commanded the respect she and her sister has on the clay whether it is in Roland Garros, Sydney, or New York.
Grace Jones James Bond Still
If you wanna talk about the best Bond girl of all time, Grace Jones is definitely a candidate. The reason why this actress is so iconic is simple, she is not afraid to show who she is and she doesn’t feel the need to mold herself according to the usual standards of beauty.
In her portrait to promote the 1985 James Bond Film “A View To a Kill” opposite Roger Moore; she is shown in a black and white portrait in a black vest. In the portrait, she has a cigarette in her mouth and her skin looks absolutely stunning with the lighting.
Michelle Obama Amy Sherald Portrait
A Baltimore-based painter named Amy Sherald was commissioned by Michelle Obama to do her official portrait. This was very unique because, unlike most official portraits, the color scheme used for this one was rather unorthodox. In the portrait, the former first lady’s skin is all in grey as she poses in front of a blue backdrop. All of the colors seem to be neutralized except for blue,red,pink, and yellow.
Alicia Keys No Makeup Photo
When it comes to beautiful black women superstars that have truly shown the principle that the best possible makeup that you can wear is your gorgeous and genuine smile, Alicia Keys truly stands out.
In a portrait of her smiling with nothing but her bare face for the world to behold, freckles and all, her confidence radiates through the lens of the camera and depicts something truly to behold.
Zendaya Variety Portrait
In a piece done by Variety for their Top 500 Entertainment Business Leaders list, Zendaya is shown in a black and white portrait smiling towards the camera. This is an image that shows that she is someone to be reckoned with in Hollywood and we are going to be seeing a lot more of her in her future projects.
Kamala Makes Her Case
In an article by the New Yorker called “Kamala Makes Her Case”, the vice president is shown in a portrait of her looking up in her usual formal attire. The portrait is indeed very powerful because it boldly and proudly shows off something that the United States has never seen before — a beautiful, black, powerful, and profound female vice president.